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May the best little eco idea win

Marc Lefkowitz  |  10/16/13 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Biking, Transform, Composting

If you’ve ever had an idea for a business, then you can appreciate the spark of innovation that Enterprise Nurture An Idea Competition hopes to reward.

Little box<br />Shipping containers made into a shopping mall in Mexico. Pedal powered<br />A bike compost operation in Vermont

Enterprise Community Partners and Ohio Savings Bank could be in $10,000 to eight ideas. The hitch is each needs to sell individual donations to help them reach a fundraising goal by November 8. The finalists are pitching their idea and taking donations at Crowdrise, a matchmaker for philanthropists and budding entrepreneurs who crowdsource good causes and social business start ups.

The Enterprise competition is heavy with community-based services (all involve community development groups).

Some get high marks for creativity. There’s Cleveland Bike Composting, an operation that would haul—on bikes outfitted with special trailers—food waste produced in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood to a vacant lot where it would be composted. Project champions include Bike Cleveland, Rust Belt Gardens, Groundz Recycling and Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization, which recently secured a $30,000 grant from the city’s EcoDistricts initiative to write a business plan and support the start up of a community compost center.

Small box: Creative retail in the Warehouse District is a kissing cousin to a vacant land reuse strategy in the heart of the city. Where giant, surface parking lots have left a void of activity and dead zones for pedestrians Warehouse District, a non-profit developer, wants to drop in corrugated steel shipping containers that can be outfitted as small stores. The project team lists Michael Rastatter, who recently started a business, Cleveland Container Structures, that plans to upcycle shipping containers as modular homes or for other creative uses.

Tremont’s entry would take on the lowly food offerings of the corner store by making them a deal —shelf space for fresh food in exchange for financial support to buy the healthy stuff.

South Euclid wants to raise money for a community greening project that would beautify a highly trafficked corner of Mayfield and South Green roads.

St. Clair-Superior Community Development wants your support for Edible History, a project that would reuse a home and vacant lot as a food co-op, learning center, cooking classes and a holistic apothecary. It would be an outgrowth of the nonprofit group’s plan to build a reuse economy within vacant homes and storefronts that a $375,000 grant from ArtPlace America helped launch in the form of the Cleveland Flea and upcycle boutiques.

See all eight competitors in the 2013 Enterprise Nurture an Idea competition, and support those you think can make a difference.

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Marc
4 years ago

Restore Cleveland -- Thanks for your comment. The Slavic Village project sounds positive, so thanks for including the link.

I'm also inspired by a similar story coming out of Memphis where they are crowdsourcing the nation's first bike lane. See this article:

peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/memphis-is-about-to-build-the-countrys-first-crowdfunded-bike-lane

Restore Cleveland
4 years ago

You forgot Slavic Village's Blueprint Initiative aimed at re-purposing & filling historic vacant storefronts in the Broadway Historic District!

Here's the link to their proposal:

crowdrise.com/slavicvillagedevelop1

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